Design the Life You Love: A Step-by-Step Guide to Building a Meaningful Future

Amazon.com Price: $11.59 (as of 08/12/2022 20:13 PST- Details)

An interactive journal that serves as a joyful, inspirational guide to building the life you’ve always dreamed of, using the principles and creative process of an award-winning product designer. Life, just like a design problem, is full of constraints — time, money, age, location, and circumstances. You can’t have everything, so you have to be creative to make what you want and what you need co-exist. Design the Life You Love is a joyful, inspirational guide to building the life you’ve always wanted, using the principles and creative process of an award-winning product designer. Through four steps that reveal hidden skills and wisdom, anyone can design a life they love!

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Review

“This graphic workbook . . .encourages a playful approach to designing your own life from the ground up. Whereas most tools ask you to build on where you are, this one asks you to examine if you’re in the right place to begin with.”
– RealSimple.com

“Ayse Birsel’s warm, affirming tone convinces readers that a deeply fulfilling life is possible. . . Design the Life You Love would be the perfect gift for anyone in a rut, at a crossroads or about to embark on a new career path.”
– ShelfAwareness

“The book would benefit people wanting or needing to change their lives, from high achievers wondering what’s next to people just starting their careers.”
– The Portland Oregonian

“I am beginning to realize that there is an opportunity to apply the metaphysical to certain design tactics. The designer Ayse Birsel proposes just that in her book . . .  .A final extension of human-centric design, this application of design-to-life is analogous to the fusion of art and life.” 
– Philip Wood, California Home + Design

“If you’re like me and you really want to change, try her process. It will help you become the person you want to be and design a life you will love!”
– Marshall Goldsmith, New York Times best selling author of Triggers

Advance praise for Design the Life You Love:

“Ayse Birsel is a designer who knows how to find elegant solutions for complex issues not only with products, but also with everybody’s search for serenity, inspiration, and fulfillment in life.”
– Paola Antonelli, senior curator of architecture & design, Museum of Modern Art
 
“I know it’s easy to live a pessimistic life, grinding it out and waiting for someone to give you orders. But just because it’s easy doesn’t mean you should do it that way. Ayse Birsel has a better idea.”
– Seth Godin, author of What to Do When it’s Your Turn      
 
 “Ayse Birsel has a unique gift for making the complex simple and the simple beautiful. This book will help you to a better life and unleash your hidden creative talent.”
– Brian Walker, President and CEO of Herman Miller

“Ayse Birsel has designed furniture, office systems, cookware and even a toilet seat. Taking what she’s learned from product design, she has developed a fun, playful approach to designing a life you love. Who else but a designer could give you the tools you need to examine your life and make it the best it can be?”
– John Edelman, CEO, Design Within Reach

“If you want to stoke someone’s imagination, give them a picture book. If you want to feed their intellect, give them a book of literature. But if you want to fuel their future, give them this book. Design the Life You Love is an invitation to prioritize what’s important in your life—to literally put it down on paper through four simple but ingenious steps—and emerge with a kind of personal mission statement that will give you clarity, power, and purpose.”
– Allan Chochinov, chair of the MFA Products of Design program at the School of Visual Arts

“Ayse Birsel has delivered the ideal self-help workbook for our harried age—one that is playful, smart, pragmatic, and contagiously optimistic. Her fun, simple exercises add up to a remarkably powerful tool for realigning your life with your dreams.”
– Mason Currey, author of Daily Rituals: How Artists Work
 
“Remember when people used to tell each other impatiently to “Get a life!”? Well, with this engaging book, Ayse Birsel provides a well-wrought strategy for doing precisely that. In the process, readers gain some precious insights into what design is and what designers do.”
– Ralph Caplan, author, By Design, and recipient of the National Design Award for design thinking
 
“Nothing is more important than designing the life that you love.  One of the world’s best designers can show you how to do it!”
– Marshall Goldsmith, author of Triggers, MOJO, and What Got You Here Won’t Get You There
 
“A fun, interactive workbook for unleashing creativity and redesigning our daily lives.”
– Adam Grant, professor at the Wharton School and author of Give and Take
 
 “Ayse Birsel’s book costs very little money, takes almost no time to go through and may have a gigantic impact on your life. This is good design: a tiny investment featuring enormous possibilities.” 
– Stefan Sagmeister, Designer, Sagmeister & Walsh
 
“Ayse Birsel’s talent as a designer and her unique worldview collide perfectly in Design The Life You Love. For anyone who is looking for an imaginative yet logical way to think through life’s challenges, this is for you. Learn how to shift your perspectives with design-thinking, and be inspired by her illustrations along the way.” 
– Beth Comstock, CEO, GEO Business Innovations


About the Author

AYSE BIRSEL has been designing award-winning products for over twenty years. She is the co-founder of Birsel + Seck, an innovative design studio in New York that partners with leading brands and Fortune 500 companies. She teaches at SVA and has taught at the Pratt Institute. Her work is in the permanent collections of the MOMA and Cooper Hewitt National Design Museum. She has received numerous design awards, including the IDEA Gold Award, ID Magazine Excellence Award, and Athena Award for Excellence in Furniture Design from RISD.

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Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

Dear reader,

YOU ARE COURAGEOUS!

If you are reading this book, it means that you want to be the designer of your own life; that you are interested in thinking about your life proactively; that you have things to explore and changes you want to make creatively.

This book is for anyone who, like me, thinks that your life is your most important project. It does not require that you have any design or creative experience, just the desire to explore your life from a new point of view and to learn to think like a designer. Welcome to designing the life you love.

ABOUT DESIGN THE LIFE YOU LOVE

Design the Life You Love started as an experiment. I had just finished putting my creative process on paper, as a tool to share with my team at Birsel + Seck, the design studio I lead with my husband, Bibi Seck, in New York, and our clients. But first I needed a test project. What better testing ground than my own life, something I have come to consider my biggest project? I first shared it with my friends, who’ve helped me to fine-tune the steps and given me the confidence to go do it. Then I did my first workshop. And things started to grow from there. Which brings us to this book you’re holding in your hands!

WHAT IS THIS BOOK?
This is a workbook to use interactively, take notes on, paste pictures into, draw on its pages, color in if you feel in the mood . . . then refer back to each time you have a problem you want to solve or just want to refresh yourself on the process of designing your life. This is an evolving process, one that you get better at the more you do it, and that you can adapt to the changes in your life with its ups and downs. But I shouldn’t really call it a workbook. This is actually a PLAYBOOK. A book in which to think playfully!

HOW TO USE THIS BOOK
20 Minutes
Do 20 minutes or so and then take a break. Come back later or the next day.

Always Right
There are no wrong answers here, only your answers. 

Draw and Write
You don’t have to draw like Picasso, but just draw.

Playful
Play when you’re designing in this book. Like a child. Don’t forget that this rabbit will be your reminder!

WHY DESIGN?
Design is about identifying and working within given constraints to arrive at new and better solutions. Life, just like a design problem, is full of constraints: time, money, age, location, circumstances, etc. You cannot have everything. If you want more, you have to be creative about how to make what you need and what you want coexist. This requires design thinking.

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An interactive journal that serves as a joyful, inspirational guide to building the life you’ve always dreamed of, using the principles and creative process of an award-winning product designer. Life, just like a design problem, is full of constraints — time, money, age, location, and circumstances. You can’t have everything, so you have to be creative to make what you want and what you need co-exist. Design the Life You Love is a joyful, inspirational guide to building the life you’ve always wanted, using the principles and creative process of an award-winning product designer. Through four steps that reveal hidden skills and wisdom, anyone can design a life they love!

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